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Monday, January 25 • 3:00pm - 3:20pm
Evaluating The Launch of The Deer Management Assistance Program In Wisconsin

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AUTHORS: Ben Beardmore*, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ; Robert H. Holsman,Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Robert Nack, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Wisconsin developed and implemented a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) in 2014 following a recommendation in the 2012 Deer Trustee Report. DMAP was presented as way to improve habitat for deer and other wildlife and to build trust and credibility with deer hunters and landowners through increased interaction and cooperation with agency biologists and foresters. Currently, 20 state agencies utilize some type of DMAP as an outreach tool for private land conservation and deer herd control efforts. This presentation will highlight Wisconsin’s experience with developing and implementing DMAP over the first two years of the program. To date, over 700 landowners and approximately 90,000 acres have been enrolled in the program. The program emphasizes forest management and harvest strategies that strike an appropriate balance between deer herd size and sustainable habitat. We developed an evaluation framework to measure the influence of program interventions on participant attitudes about habitat carrying capacity as well as on agency credibility. Baseline survey results indicate that most participants entering the program believe their properties are below carrying capacity and that local deer impacts are minor. Initial program enrollees entered with positive attitudes toward the WDNR. Enrollees in the first year of the program expressed very positive experiences. We conclude by sharing lessons learned from the initial implementation of the program.

Monday January 25, 2016 3:00pm - 3:20pm EST
Emerald A